- Bangor University experts have been working on lightweight backpacks for bees
- It is hoped the tiny cameras will help scientists find out how bees collect honey
- Senior environment lecturer Paul Cross said it is essential given bees’ decline
Scientists are buzzing after developing tiny cameras that are so small they can be placed on bees.
The miniature devices are attached to super small backpacks and will film how the bees collect honey.
The team of experts at Bangor University have been working closely on the new lightweight backpacks which will harness the bees electrical energy to power them.
Paul Cross, senior environment lecturer, said: ‘This new device really is akin to a bee wearing a rucksack – as opposed to carrying the equivalent of the kitchen table and chairs as at present.
Scientists are buzzing after developing tiny cameras that are so small they can be placed on bees
‘Bee populations, our vital crop and fruit pollinators, are in serious decline; their survival faces challenges on several fronts, insecticides and varroa mites to name a few.’
Dr Cristiano Palego, a microsystems expert at the University’s School of Electronic Engineering, added: ‘Existing bee monitoring devices face limits due to their weight, range, and how long their power source lasts- and these are the problems that we’ve set out to resolve using cutting-edge micro-technology.
‘We have proven our ability to harvest the bee’s electrical energy to enable us to do away with the need for a battery and our end product will weigh only a third of the bee’s body weight, or less than a raindrop.
‘This solves the weight and battery longevity problems.
‘Our next step is to develop a mobile receiver to track and follow the bee’s transmitted signal as it forages.’